Criminal Law Unit Review

Topics: Criminal law, Jury, Crime Pages: 5 (1651 words) Published: January 19, 2014
Unit 3 Law review-
Purposes of Criminal Law- Exists to label wrongful behaviour, to identify violations and impose sanctions. Labelling , identifying, and sanctioning wrongful behaviours achieves two things: retribution and the protection of society. Actus Reus: The guilty act. To prove actus reus, the Crown would have to demonstrate that a) there was no consent, b) force was applied. Mens Rea: The guilty mind. Done with criminal intent or knowledge that what he/she did was against the law. Objective-If a reasonable person would foresee an actus reus that the actus reus was intended. No thought was given as to what was in the mind of the accused person. Blame based on the fact that the accused failed to live up to the standard of the reasonable person. External to the accused. Subjective- Must prove that the accused himself had the requisite intention (mens rea) at the time of the offence. Links fault to accused’s own choices. Criminal liability should be reserved for those who consciously choose to behave criminally. General Intent means to commit a wrongful act for its own sake, with no other purpose or motive. Specific intent involves intent in addition to the general intend to commit the crime. Due diligence-reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement. Absolute liability- culpability based on the commission of an actus reus without regard to the mens rea. Strict liability- culpability based on the commission of an actus reus and inability to prove the defence of due diligence. Crime Scene Investigation- Crime scene evidence alone does not establish guilt on its own in most cases. Source or physical evidence, police secure the scene, follow proper protocol, properly catalogue and safeguard all collected evidence. Analysis may be call on experts and techniques from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, anthropology, geology, computer science, etc. Physical evidence is made up of fingerprints, trace elements(dirt, dust, residue), blood, gunshot residue, and DNA. DNA- All humans have a distinct genetic code. Laboratory analysis of blood stains, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions, skin, and hair follicles can lead to the identification of an individual through their distinct genetic code. Minute samples are sufficient even when mixed with other substances. Has been available since the early 1980’s and has been used to prove the innocence of wrongfully convicted individuals. Warrant-A grant of judicial authority to arrest of search. Arrests may take place either with or without the authority of a warrant. Indictable Offence- term used to describe a serious offence under the Criminal Code, prosecuted in a manner more complex and carrying penalties more severe than a summary conviction offence. Summary conviction offence- term used to describe an offence under the Criminal Code, prosecuted in a manner less complex and carrying penalties less severe than an indictable offence. Hybrid offence- term used to describe an offence under the Criminal Code, prosecuted as either an indictable or a summary conviction offence at the discretion of the Crown. Search powers- Searches must be explicitly authorized, either by statute or at a common law. The police have no general right to search an individual or a place because they hope to discover evidence. The warrant is a grant of authority to conduct a search. Prior authorization is given in circumstances where reasonable grounds exist. The three main purposes incident to arrest are 1) to ensure the safety of the police and the public, 2) to protect evidence from destruction at the hands of the arrested individual or others, 3) to discover evidence. Recognizance- a document designed to ensure an accused’s attendance in court; issued by the officer in charge of a police station after an arrest in which the accused promises to pay a sum of money if he or she fails to appear. Bail hearing- Hearing must be held within 24 hours of an...
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